Davenport, David James April 22, 1946 – July 26, 2019
Our dear David passed peacefully at home on July 26, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. Born of Scottish and Irish parents in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, David lived his life with passion, love and determination. His heart and his work touched many and for those who knew him, our memories of him will always be of his love.
David received his bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College in 1968, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota in 1971, after which, he practiced corporate law, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. He was a partner at Lindquist and Vennum for over twenty years.
A man who loved God and his country, David was commissioned into the United States Army in 1970 and later transferred to the National Guard from which he retired in 1993 as a full bird colonel. He spent four years on the Plymouth City Council and served as Mayor of the City of Plymouth. He was a visionary and someone who saw dreams through to fruition. During his political tenure, he spearheaded projects that remain long-lasting community treasures, including the James J. Hill Days, Music in Plymouth, and the Parkers Lake Park.
Service drove David’s spirit, and he devoted much of his time serving others. He was an avid supporter of Hammer Residences in Wayzata and was a member of the Wayzata Rotary Club. David suffered a closed head brain injury in a car accident in 1993 that rendered him a quadriplegic, but this never stopped his active involvement with people. He always kept a full docket bustling around the Twin Cities with his long time caregiver Jean. For 26 years he volunteered weekly at Caring and Sharing Hands, serving lunch on Tuesdays. He attended rotary meetings on Wednesdays, church on Sundays, and always made time for grandkids’ concerts, special events and sports games. He inspired, and continues to inspire, his family and friends to always take care of others and give of their time and talents.
David loved traveling, and he introduced Belle and his children to places they will forever hold dear to their hearts, including Minnesota’s North Shore, New York City, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, the Napa Valley, the Rocky Mountains, and of course the beaches of Captiva Island with their breathtaking sunsets. In 1988 David created the “Tip to Tip Race” on Captiva Island, an inclusive event that has but two requirements: that everyone starts the race together, and that everyone ends the race together. The race is still run today.
A true foodie, David’s travels always included visits not only to famous eateries, but also to dives and drive-ins. His kids remember many a cab ride that included dad asking the driver, “Where do YOU eat?”
David both expected and inspired the best in those he loved, and he drove, supported, and always believed in his family and friends. He encouraged those around him to be the best they could be and lived his life as an example. He was a man of strong faith. Always positive, forever loving and forgiving, David’s tenderness touched many.
True to his Scots-Irish heritage, David loved a good time and believed one should work hard, but also be purposeful about having fun. He was a daredevil and a risk taker and enjoyed taking part in clever shenanigans. Driving his sports cars, hunting wild turkeys, twirling his girls around the dance floor, wrestling with his Labradors, skiing Beaver Creek, and running the Luce Line were some of his favorites things. Experiencing life and having fun with his truest love, his wife Belle, was his greatest joy.
Preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Christina Davenport, and by his sisters, Doris and Christina.
Survived by his wife of 49 years, Belle Cadwallader Davenport and his seven children, Sarah (Andy) Sorenson, Rebecca (Jerry) Anderson, Kristina (John) Woodburn, Krismar (Eric) Waage, Karen (John) Kastan, Dawn (Reid) Rischmiller, Eric (Karri) Hansen. Loved most dearly by his grandchildren, Oliver, Cameron, Roslyn, Gabriel, Grace, Augustus, Emily, Katharine, Joshua, Per, Anders, Analisa, Greg, Lisa, Richard, Matthew and his seven great-grandchildren. David will be greatly missed by his brother Harry Jr. in Orlando, as well as by his much-loved brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that if you feel so moved, please donate to the cause of your choice, and most importantly, tell those in your life “I love you.”
Memorial service 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at Wayzata Community Church, 125 East Wayzata Boulevard, Wayzata with visitation beginning at noon at church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David James Davenport, please visit our floral store.